Palliative Care, Not Just for End of Life: A Holistic Approach to Treating Parkinson’s with Dr. Maya Katz
There’s a lot of confusion about what palliative care is. Part of the problem is that the term is often used interchangeably with hospice, even though they’re not the same thing.
Palliative care refers to services that are designed to ease suffering and improve quality of life at ALL stages of an illness such as Parkinson’s and for an undetermined amount of time, not just end stages. Hospice is a specific subset of palliative care that provides end-stage care usually in the final six months of life.
In other words, palliative care is an approach that improves quality of life for people with Parkinson’s and their families and could provide great benefit from the moment someone receives a Parkinson’s diagnosis.
In this episode, Dr. Maya Katz describes the full spectrum of palliative care and the importance of being more precise in our language so that the people who would benefit from it are not scared away by it.
- Using the language of palliative care may prevent people who need it from getting it
- Call it supportive care
- Palliative care addresses the whole person
- It starts from the moment of diagnosis
- Palliative care has a marketing problem – we’re trying to fix that with new language
- Difference between depression and anxiety is that anxiety is the normal adjustment response to a difficult diagnosis, and it’s tied to grief and guilt
- There’s continued loss with Parkinson’s – loss, grief, resolution, loss, grief, resolution
- True depression and anxiety in people with Parkinson’s is the result of a chemical change in the brain
- Treat it with medications to replenish chemical deficiency and loss of neurotransmitters
- In conjunction with therapy, you can learn the skills needed to deal with difficult emotions
- It can take a year to get used to a Parkinson’s diagnosis
- It’s important to know that it’s a process and there are tools to help you become more resilient (Register for our free, upcoming webinar: How to Build Resilience While Living with Parkinson’s)
- One must have compassion and patience for people who get a Parkinson’s diagnosis
- In our palliative care clinic, we work with care partners individually so that each loved one has dedicated time to discuss their challenges
- There are health consequences to being a Parkinson’s care partner; so, it’s important for care partners to make their own health and well-being a priority as well
- It’s also important to reduce isolation, get out there, set intentions for your days/life and know that health isn’t just about treating symptoms
Concepts Mentioned in this Podcast & Further ReadingHow to Build Resilience While Living with Parkinson’s – Register for the free webinar here
How to Build Resiliency and Live Well with Parkinson’s
How to Stay Healthy and Avoid Burnout as a Parkinson’s Care Partner
How to Reduce Social Isolation While Living with Parkinson’s
5 Reasons to Start or Join a Women’s Only Parkinson’s Support Group
Compassion Fatigue Awareness Project
Palliative Care and Parkinson’s Disease
Palliative and Hospice Care Fact Sheet – from the Parkinson’s Foundation
Social Capital and the Value of Relationships in Parkinson’s
Dr. Maya Katz is an Assistant Professor of Neurology at the UCSF Movement Disorders and Neuromodulation Center. She specializes in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease and related disorders. Her research interests include identifying neuroprotective strategies and improving outcomes for patients treated with deep brain stimulation. She is the Co-Director of the UCSF Movement Disorders Palliative and Supportive Care Clinic, which provides comprehensive interdisciplinary care to optimize all aspects of wellbeing and quality of life.
Dr. Katz obtained her medical degree at Cornell University. She completed her residency in Neurology at Mount Sinai Medical Center, where she served as chief resident. She then completed her Movement Disorders Fellowship at UCSF in 2013. Dr. Katz is board certified in Neurology and is an active member of the American Academy of Neurology and the International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society.
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